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Mission Statement

What is Moving Boundaries?

“Every organism is in one sense continuous with its environment across the boundary of its skin, exchanging matter and energy.”



– James Gibson

Our buildings, neighborhoods, and cities directly impact our health and well-being. This basic fact is appreciated increasingly across the full range of professions involved in the design and maintenance of the built environment. At the same time, we know little about how the relationship between people and environments works in detail: how exactly our experience and behavior, our emotions and engagement in the community, are all shaped by the built environment.

A number of scientific disciplines have been called to help us fill this gap. Most notably, they include the disciplines allied under the umbrellas of neuroscience and cognitive science. Encounters between scientists and design professionals produce an exciting new frontier of human knowledge; they lead to a new understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the designer. 

Moving Boundaries is an international and interdisciplinary initiative seeking to disseminate this new understanding by means of education and advocacy. The initiative operates at the interface of the just mentioned scientific disciplines and such design disciplines as architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and interior design. Based in San Diego and La Jolla, California, which is the home of the venerable Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), connected by an active network of collaborations with kindred schools of design around the world, Moving Boundaries is poised to curate a global community of students, professionals, and organizations that share our vision and values.

The 2023 winter course and workshop in Italy, titled “Moving Boundaries: Human Sciences and the Future of Architecture,” brings together a cadre of distinguished international speakers: scientists and architects, historians and philosophers, who will illuminate the many facets of the impact of the built environment on human health and well-being. 

In its larger aspirations, Moving Boundaries is designed to serve as a platform for collaboration between educators and scientists, practitioners and students of architecture, as well as with institutions of design, research, and learning, animated by ideas and creations of such notable architects and architectural critics as Kenneth Frampton, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Louis Kahn, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, Luis Barragán, Balkrishna Doshi and Juhani Pallasmaa. The collective legacy of these individuals demands that we view the design from an uncompromisingly humanistic perspective, committed to personal flourishing and centered on the individual’s physical health and psychological wellness.

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